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Maya Rudolph Wins First Two Emmys In Same Week; Says ‘The Good Place’ Judge Was Modeled On “Iconic Human Being” Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Antonia Blyth
·3-min read

Maya Rudolph has gone from zero to two Emmys in just three days. On Saturday night she snagged her second trophy of the week-long Creative Arts Emmys virtual ceremony—this time for her turn as Kamala Harris in Saturday Night Live, hosted by Eddie Murphy. And just this past Thursday, Rudolph took home her very first Emmy for voicing the role of Connie the Hormone Monstress in Big Mouth.

Add to this the fact that Rudolph was double-nominated in her guest actress category Saturday night, the other nom being for her role as the judge in The Good Place, and it looks like this has been her year in terms of career recognition. She beat Bette Midler, Wanda Sykes, Angela Bassett and Phoebe Waller-Bridge to take home the gold this time.

Speaking in the virtual backstage press room, Rudolph said her Good Place role was modeled on a very special real-life person, who sadly passed away yesterday—Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “I was actually thinking about The Good Place a lot and about how we modeled her robe after Ruth Bader Ginsberg and how much of that was an homage to an iconic human being. “When you think of a judge, when you think of all-knowing, when you think of powerful, when you think of all good, yeah, we modeled her robe after RBG, so that was pretty cool.”

Rudolph did not pre-record an acceptance speech for the virtual ceremony, explaining live after her win: “That feels a little presumptuous, and not to mention just physically, emotionally exhausting. If I’m going to experience defeat I’d rather not have gone through all the hair and makeup.”

She added that it meant so much to be part of the SNL family. “When I’m there I genuinely feel like I’m at home. I feel really indebted to Lorne (Michaels) and my entire SNL family. That place is such a well-oiled machine…I’m really lucky to be a part of their team.”

She also said in these difficult times the wins had seemed particularly special. “It’s certainly put a smile on my face this week to be so acknowledged,” she said, “but I felt that way about the nominations to be honest…I’m not really looking a gift horse in the mouth these days. I’m really grateful for any moment when we can stop and reflect and honor and celebrate each other.”

She also paid homage to the other women in her category, saying she certainly didn’t expect such accolades. “To be fair I didn’t think I was going to win again tonight. I thought the guest actress, this nomination, is usually flooded with incredible women who are legends and I saw a couple of legends in there…Bette Midler beats me in the legend department, and Angela Bassett beats me in the legend dept. I’m kind of still surprised and a little bit startled I won another Emmy. I don’t know about you but I haven’t felt that lucky lately, so this a very foreign feeling and I’m really embracing it.”

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